Kanpur: Every man is a beautiful caricature of himself. Every man is more himself than he has ever been in a situation when his grumbling goes against his traditional vocation. To every cobbler, a fascinating time comes at his better his earnings when he opens up himself like great tropical flowers. He keenly enjoys his part as in some delightful impromptu excitement. His traditional job is another custom altogether; his aspiration is another competition with those of the electronic devices.
Cobblers are still engaged in their menial profession of mending shoes, slippers and sandals. Despite our disinclination, we have to approach them for repairing our cracked foot wears.This is a very old profession and quite useful after so many advancements in the footwear industry. When fashionable trendy designs of footwear are available in the market, these roadside cobblers become a source of solace at the time of sudden split of our slippers, sandals or shoes. They are available in almost every locality of this city.
What is the most distressing factor for these cobblers is that their avocation is no longer profitable? Their earnings are not well enough to meet their needs of livelihood. This traditional occupation is not fetching sufficient income as claimed often with this addition that it is mainly due to the availability of cheaper foot wears in the market. Their day-long tough grind brings only a paltry sum daily.
On being asked why was their income going down? Replying to this query an experienced cobbler sitting at Satti Chaura Turn in Cantonment area maintained that their age-old profession was directly hit by the use of rubber and fibre in footwear industry while another aged cobbler sitting at Purani Chungi Turn in the same area points out that the numbers of consumers are receding day by day. They appear to be interested in buying a new piece rather than getting their old footwear mended.
Further, another cobbler sitting by the side road in Motinagar locality speaks out that the customers are becoming indifferent in mending their broken footwear simply because of high repair charges.
But cobblers are cohesive in saying that the use of fibre and rubber are ruining our work. They emphatically stressed that these materials have almost ended our skill.
As one cobbler indicated that the consumers did not like to pay ample amount on repairing of sandals or slippers or bellies. They preferred to buy a new piece at a comparatively cheaper rate and avoid paying our enhanced repairing charges.
“The system of bargaining is over now as what comes from their mouth has to be paid”, said a girl waiting to get her sandal repaired by a cobbler sitting on a vacant spot in Laal Bungalow area here.
Then why did not cobblers opt for the private jobs?
He said that the private job did not suit us because of propensity to work independently.
"That is why we did not like to choose private jobs. We generally sit at a spot available on the road. It was not necessary to select a spot in crowded places. It did not matter whether the spot was chosen in populated areas or not. What we normally keep in mind is that our work should not be inferior qualitatively", he added.
On the strength of cobblers in this city it was claimed by him though no census at community level had been undertaken here but according to a rough estimation, their number could be in thousands.